Men's Cross Country Race at Pre-Nationals This Weekend
The Men's Team, Ranked 5th in the Region, Looks Stronger Than Ever
DENTON - The North Texas men's cross-country team has received its highest regional ranking in program history at No. 5 in the South Central Region, as selected by the U.S.T.F.C.C.C.A.
"I think being ranked fifth in the region is great, but we know we are better than that," said junior captain Troy Taylor, who will lead the Mean Green into the Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, Indiana, this weekend. "It's awesome that we can say this is the best North Texas has ever been, but we will only improve from here."
The men, coming off of a strong third-place finish at the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival in Arkansas on Oct. 4, will compete for the first time at Pre-Nationals.
"It's okay that we have never been to Pre-Nats before, we will go into the meet ready to compete with any team," Taylor said. "We will be looking forward to the level of competition though."
"I believe that the impact the Pre-National meet will have on us will be great, because I believe every single one of my guys will run amazing," senior captain Alejandro Valencia said. "We are all in it together, one for all and all for one. The meet will give us more momentum towards the championship portion of our season."
"The team's performance at Chile Pepper has helped us want more out of our season," said Valencia, who got sixth at the Chile Pepper. "We are all very fired up after our performances at Chile Pepper, and that will help us keep the momentum going towards Pre-Nationals on beyond. Pre-Nationals is just a stepping stone towards our bigger goals."
Taylor, who finished eighth at the Chile Pepper, said "We ran great at Chili pepper, individually and also as a team. I hope the drive and focus we had for that meet will carry over to Pre-Nats. We've seen what we can do at a larger meet now we need to go a lay it all on the course this weekend."
The men will race against 10 nationally-ranked teams in Terre Haute this weekend, facing even tougher competition than at the Chile Pepper.
"The most exciting thing about the race is competing against the caliber of athletes and teams we will race against. The race is also on the course that is ran on for nationals, so it's a great feeling to able to get the perspective of how the course looks," said Valencia.
North Texas will race in the 8K Blue Race in Terre Haute at 11:35 a.m. this Saturday, Oct. 18.